Theatre and Drama | History of Western Theatre & Drama 2
T371 | 11747 | Curley


T371 History of Western Theatre and Drama I-II (3 cr.)
This course fulfills A&H and CSB requirements.

This course is a survey of theatre history and dramatic literature
in the United States and Europe from 1660 to the present.  The
theatre is a place where artists and audiences meet to engage one
another through the production and reception of a performance.  The
study of theatre history is necessarily a study of the people and
times in which these performances are experienced.  As such, we will
be exploring the various individuals, places, plays, and trends that
helped to shape the theatre of the past and inform the theatre of
the present.   At the conclusion of this course, students should
have an understanding of the development of theatre and drama
throughout the time period and within particular social, historical,
political, and artistic frameworks.

We will explore times when:
•	On-stage discussions of STDs and divorce were radical and
shocking
•	Audiences rioted if the production was not to their liking
•	Theatre technology relied on highly explosive chemical
concoctions
•	Producers sold cups of chocolate with a side of theatre

We will explore productions where:
•	Seemingly nothing at all happens . . . or does it?
•	Gods and prostitutes question the meaning of life
•	The on-stage world is nearly indistinguishable from the off-
stage world
•	All manner of human incivility is demonstrated through a
card-game

We will try to find answers to the following questions:
•	Can art really instigate social change?
•	How do you distinguish between art and life?  Is life just
one long performance?
•	Who controls the theatrical event: the audience, the actors,
the directors, or the producers?
•	How are race, gender and class performed at different points
in history?
•	How did changing notions of “reality” impact theatre
practices?
•	What happens when governments fund (or do not fund)
theatres?
•	How do theatrical styles respond to and borrow from earlier
movements?
•	How do societies perform representations of themselves?
•	And, finally, how can our exploration of all of the above
questions enable us to create an invigorating and vibrant theatre
for the future?